Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What Is A Muskie and Where Do They Live?

Muskellunge or muskie (esox masquinongy) are called the fish of 10,000 casts because it usually takes a long time to hook one.
There is also a Tiger Muskie is a cross between a muskie and a northern pike.
  • Description - Muskie have long, thin bodies with wide mouths full of teeth. Their dorsal fin is set way back near the tail. They come in a variety of colors, from dark and mottled to lighter colors. They can have bars or spots on the body but can be one color.
  • Size - Muskie grow big. The world record weighed 67 pounds, eight ounces and was caught in Wisconsin in 1949. A bigger muskie that measured 57 inches long with a girth of 33 inches but was not weighed was released. Most muskie are released but the minimum size you are allowed to keep varies by lake, and is often 40 inches long or more.
  • Distribution - Native to the northeastern US from the Great Lakes south to north Georgia and in Ontario and Quebec in Canada. Muskie have been introduced in many suitable waters.
  • What Muskie Eat- Muskie will eat anything they can get in their mouth, and their mouths are big. They mainly prey on smaller fish, from suckers to pike, with bluegill a favorite. They have been known to eat small ducks asnd snakes, frogs, crayfish, rats and other rodents that get into the water.
  • Reproduction - Muskie spawn over hard bottoms in shallow water with vegetation. After the eggs hatch the small zygotes stick to plants where they feed on the egg sack and grow.
  • Attraction to Light- Muskie may come to lights at night to feed on baitfish attracted to the light
  • Life Cycle - After hatching and growing, small muskie stay in shallow vegetation and will even form schools. As they grow they tend to hold in deeper water near shallow areas where they feed. They prefer vegetation and rocks. They continue to grow, often to very big size.
  • Problems - Although they eat small fish and birds, they do not cause problems in most rivers and lakes.
  • Muskie are common in many cooler lakes and rivers and a considered trophy fish. They put up a good fight and heavy tackle is usually used for them.

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